The 2021 Dodge Journey Is it Finally Time to Bring Excitement to the Midsize SUV Class?
Will the 2021 Dodge Journey be able to up the competition? It’s often said by automotive journalists who write about such things that Dodge’s Journey is one of the better finds in the fiercely competitive SUV market, the seven-seater offering a plethora of choices for a range of budgets. There are, for example, rear- and all-wheel drive configurations, as well as a number of engine choices to select from, thus creating a midsize SUV that can be perfect for just about any driver or family.
As we gear up to welcome in the 2021 version of the Journey, a host of notable elements are coming into focus, the most of exciting of which promises to be the addition of a high-performance SRT model – indeed, Dodge is planning on injecting some of the spirit and excitement of its other SRT-branded vehicles like the Charger and Challenger into its otherwise humble Journey, a move that is likely to pique the interest of enthusiasts who had to graduate to such a vehicle to support a growing family.
What We Can Expect From the 2021 Journey
Outside of the aforementioned SRT model, the 2021 Journey will arrive with minor upgrades, as the 2020 model represents the start of a new generation for the midsize SUV, bringing with it the possibility of a complete redesign. Still, the 2021 Journey is poised to bring excitement with it, what with the high-performance variant and the fact that the vehicle will remain the most affordable three-row midsize SUV under the $30K mark.
It is rumored that the 2021 Journey will follow the platform steps laid down by the 2020 model, which is to say that the vehicle will deploy the same platform as the Alfa Romeo Stelvio – as such, the crossover SUV will see a switch from front-wheel-drive to rear-wheel-drive, and will be offered in three models (not counting the SRT): SE, Crossroad and GT.
What Users Tell Us About the 2021 Journey
Just based on previous user reviews about the Journey, the 2021 model is poised to bring similar characteristics and feedback regarding its day-to-day operation; from value for the money to reliability, the new Journey is on par to once again undercut its competitors including the Ford Flex, Hyundai Santa Fe and Kia Sorrento – by thousands of dollars (we’ll get into the competition in the next section). And while the base four-cylinder engine in the SE trim is far from a hot rodder’s dream, there is the option of a 283-horsepower V6 and other extras that make the Journey an open canvas for a range of buyers.
It should be noted that the Journey has been around since 2009, and therefore does not offer modern driver-assistance features; what’s more, resale value has not been one of this vehicle’s strong points. The 2021 may change this landscape, however.
2021 Journey versus the Competition
As we mentioned in the previous section, the Journey competes with the likes of Ford’s Flex, Hyundai’s Santa Fe and Kia’s Sorento, and compared with those sales foes (and others), Dodge’s SUV offers extra versatility provided by a standard three-row seat and a low price for the segment. Still, the Journey, at least in previous incarnations, has lacked many modern safety and convenience features, even in top trims, with owners often reporting below-average fuel economy, disappointing and outdated base engines and transmission and handling/drivability that lags behind competitors.
2021 Journey Facts
• Safety – Based on the 2020 Journey model, the 2021 is expected to go nowhere but up in terms of safety, being that the previous incarnation’s lackluster safety report card revealed that it’s not the best choice when it comes to sheltering precious onboard cargo. What’s worse, the previous version offered none of the advanced driver-assistance tech expected in such family haulers, with the only available safety feature being rear parking sensors.
• Fuel Economy – The previous Journey’s four-cylinder engine boasted the worst EPA ratings amongst competitors with similar powertrains, with 19 MPG in city driving and 25 on the highway.
• Interior – While the Journey’s interior was never really considered “upscale” in any trim, its simple controls are user-friendly. Still, getting anyone to fit in the third row – even children – requires those in the second row to give up some leg room. Perhaps worse, owners of previous models have complained about cheap-feeling bits, such as a plastic-esque shifter and hollow-sounding interior door trim panels, made even more egregious when they were found on the top level trims.
• Exterior – Despite a design that is showing its age and features that are increasingly outdated, the Journey undercuts the pricing of its competitors by thousands, and that is expected to continue into 2021. There is also the promise of the aforementioned high-performance SRT trim that will add some pizazz to the vehicle’s chassis.
• Driving Comfort – Some drivers in the past have reported that the Journey can get noisy with a soundtrack comprised of engine and wind noise, to say nothing of the occasional whining from the third row seats, all of which gets a bit grating on long trips. Worth mentioning, though, is the vehicle’s sweet and simple driving feel, an unexpected positive given the Journey’s three-row setup and approximate 4,238-pound curb weight.
• Engine Options – A few engines are rumored to be up for offer in the 2021 Journey: A 2.0-liter Multijet, the more popular of the rumors (and an engine that should deliver 140-horsepower and 230 pound-feet of torque) and a 2.9-liter six expected to create some 450 horsepower. If the SRT trim sees the light of day, its 6.4-liter Hemi V8 engine should produce 475 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque.
• Reliability – Unfortunately, the Dodge Journey is marred by low safety and predicted reliability ratings, though only time will tell if this will improve in 2021.
• Type of Vehicle – The Dodge Journey is a midsize SUV.
2021 Dodge Journey Pricing and Expected Release Date
Official pricing (and release date) has yet to be announced, but don’t expect prices of the 2021 Journey to change too much compared to previous variants; this equates to the SE Value trim coming in around $25K and the Crossroad commanding around $32K.
Think it will be worth waiting for the upcoming 2021 Dodge Journey? Any thoughts about the possibility of an SRT model? Share it in our discussion area!